Australian Video Game Industry Is Growing, But Still Only Makes Up 0.05 Percent Of Global Revenue

The Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA) has released a major new report that shines a light on a number of key statistics about the local Australian video game industry. In short, the local game scene is growing, but is still makes up only a minuscule proportion of global games revenue.

In terms of revenue, the Australian game development industry generated $143.5 million during the 2018-2019 financial year, according to the report. This is up 21 percent from 2017, which is when the last study was undertaken. Another positive for the local game development scene is that 71 percent of surveyed studios said they experienced growth, while 35 percent said they were anticipating this growth to accelerate to “significant growth” for the next year.

The money made by Australian game studios largely came from overseas markets, with 83 percent of total revenue from Australian games coming from outside the country. Australian game developers are also increasingly looking to target markets in Asia, with 65 percent of survey respondents saying they were developing for Asian markets (compared to 37 percent in 2017).

The total number of people working full-time on game development in Australia was 1,275 during the financial year, which is up by 37 percent from the latest survey. Programmers (34 percent) led the way in terms of discipline. The future seems bright for future growth, too, as IGEA’s study said 61 percent of surveyed studios said they expect to hire more people in the coming year, which is up from 53 percent the last time the survey was conducted.

The survey also found that the Australian game development industry, like others around the world, is dominated by men. Only 21 percent of respondents identified as female (which is up from 18 percent in 2017). In terms of geographic breakdown, Melbourne had the most studios, followed by Brisbane and then Sydney.

Some of Australia’s best-known video game developers include Big Ant (AO Tennis), Hipster Whale (Crossy Road), Firemonkeys (Need for Speed), and Halfbrick (Fruit Ninja). All of the major global publishers, including Electronic Arts, Activision, Ubisoft, and 2K, have offices in Australia. Some of the popular indie games to come out of Australia have included titles like Hollow Knight (Team Cherry) and Armello (League of Geeks).

IGEA CEO Ron Curry said the success of the Australian game development scene in the 2018-2019 fiscal year was especially notable because it comes largely without government support from tax credits and other programs. “The survey shows that the Australian game development industry continues to grow and succeed despite a lack of policies to support our industry that makes it harder to develop games in Australia than in almost any other advanced economy,” Curry said. “Games are not only important for their contribution to the nation’s economy and screen sector, they are also interwoven into the fabric of Australian culture, with two-thirds of all Australians playing video games.”

Curry pointed out that the Australian games scene has a lot of room to grow. He pointed out that Canada just recently announced that its local game development scene employs 48,000 people and generated $4 billion for the latest period. That’s 20X bigger than Australia. The gap is even bigger for the United States, where video game revenue amounted to $43 billion in 2018.

“While 83% of the income generated by Australian developers already comes from overseas sources, we’re still only capturing 0.05% of the global games market,” Curry said, referencing the reported $153 billion in global revenue that gaming brings in each year.

Survey respondents said a lack of government funding and a difficulty in securing funding from investors were some of the main challenges they faced in the last year. Developers also said internet speeds continue to be a problem in Australia.

“The Australian game development industry is also rebuilding, with 55% of studios less than five years old,” the report goes on to say. “Given the challenges that local studios are facing with little to no start-up or expansion support from government, coupled with multinational studios looking to Australia as an option for investment, IGEA encourages State and Federal Governments to consider boosting investment and recognition of the sector to spur even greater opportunities.”

You can read the full IGEA report here [PDF].

from GameSpot – Game News

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